Billionaire Araz Agalarov compared the situation in which because of the coronavirus his company Crocus Group (a large owner of retail space and the developer) ended up with the position of a sinking ship. “We got a story. I sit in this office like the captain of a small boat, and watch him sink. And I can’t do anything, it’s impossible to influence it in any way, ”he said in an interview with RBC.
Agalarov noted that now all Crocus Group facilities with the exception of the chain of stores "Your Home" are closed. Each month, group companies pay employees salaries in the amount of 1 billion rubles. Crocus Group has enough funds to pay salaries for March, but there is no money for April. Due to new loans, his business will be able to “stretch” for another month, but the billionaire does not understand what will happen next.
“A ship of 15,000 people is just slowly sinking before the eyes of the captain of the ship, who cannot even pump out water, because they simply do not provide the opportunity,” said Agalarov.
Araz and Emin Agalarov - about business in Russia, closed topics and stopped projects
He noted that without the support of the government, business cannot survive. “Well, that is, they tell you: you can’t work, save personnel, pay salaries. Our tax burden is quite high. This is of fundamental importance, as well, companies have no savings, ”said the billionaire. In order to survive the business, he is convinced, in Russia it is necessary to reduce VAT and “forget about taxes” for two months.
Agalarov noted that now the rating of the richest businessmen in Russia, Forbes, at least in terms of those who work in the domestic market, is a list of those who have “the largest debts”.
The son of a billionaire, Crocus Group’s first vice president Emin Agalarov told Forbes in early April that the group’s companies survived the crises of 1998 and 2008, but there wasn’t anything like that. He noted that the Crocus Group has an airbag, but it is measured in weeks. “Simply taking a wage fund is already a disastrous figure - without income, in fact, we won’t be able to pay it for a long time,” said Emin Agalarov.